Monday, August 04, 2008

A Superhero From Scratch

I'm reading The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, and I thought this bit of dialogue early in the book was appropriate to share, given the current box office king. The discussion is between the titular characters, who are trying to create a protagonist for a comic book:
"Who is he," Joe said.

"Who is he, and what does he do?"

"He flies."

Sammy shook his head. "Superman flies."

"So ours does not?"

"I just think I'd..."

"To be original."

"If we can. Try to do it without flying, at least. No flying, no strength of a hundred men, no bulletproof skin."

"Okay," Joe said. The humming seemed to recede a little. "And some others, they do what?"

"Well, Batman--"

"He flies, like a bat."

"No, he doesn't fly."

"But he is blind."

"No, he only dresses like a bat. He has no batlike qualities at all. He uses his fists."

"That sounds dull."

"Actually, it's spooky. You'd like it."


Blogger Mrs. White said...

This is probably my favorite of all the books I've read so far this year, and reading about their initial work creating the character of The Escapist was one of my favorite parts of the novel.

Yay! I'm glad you're reading it now, too!

1:45 PM  
Blogger Johannes said...

I liked the prewar part of this book tremendously. I liked the later part less.

I endorse Gentlemen of the Road, and The Final Solution. Smaller in scope, the later sadly too small I think, but I like the prose in those books much better and they're much tighter. Both of them.

"The elephant withdrew its burled trunk from Filaq’s embrace and turned its slow head on the scraping millstones of its vertebrae, left, right, as if indicating the men around it, making a clucking sound with its lips or throat."

" With a flourish of his dagger — one of those bold gestures so dear to emancipators — the soldier slit the swaddling cloth, and it sprang from ___'s body, baring the startled gaze of a pair of breasts shaped by the hand of nature to fit the cup of a lover’s palm."

Ahhh,... wordcraft. I feel like a grunting caveman after reading this guys books. Uhgh! Grght! Me like book good.

11:33 PM  
Blogger Raj said...

this is one of my all time favorite books! i need to re-read it.

nice to hear from you...

1:00 PM  

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